Students volunteer in their own time outside of their studies to support charities, community groups and other not-for-profit organisations. Both universities have professional volunteering services, which help to broker and promote volunteering opportunities to all students. Volunteers can provide longer-term regular support, or act as a short-term ‘task force’ team to achieve a specific goal. Oliver tells us about his time volunteering with Avon Wildlife Trust:
Over the last academic year (2017/18) I have been volunteering at Avon wildlife trust at two different branches, Feed Bristol and the pollinator corridors team. I participated in a number of activities including preparing for events, the removal of undesirable species, the improvement of wildflower meadows, land management and general wildlife friendly agriculture. The process at Feed Bristol was enjoyable and the group there were very welcoming, within a short period I felt part of the team and took pride in helping improve the green space and help manage the food crops and wildflowers. The work is done with care and the leaders there take time to explain the reasons for what you are doing and how they relate to ecology and conservation.
My experience with Avon Wildlife Trust gave me an opportunity to further enhance my skills and knowledge within ecology and landscape conservation as well as time management. By working in large groups for both projects I gained an appreciation of unity and teamwork when working towards a common goal. In all I felt it was a very worthwhile experience that I believe will contribute to my future prospects. Read the rest of the blog here.